Yesterday I/we witnessed one the greatest upset since the 2016 presidential elections.
La Pétanque Marinière was hosting a “select double” tournament sandwiched between two storms and it turned out to be one of most exciting “tournoi” of the year.
It was well attended with twenty-two “doublettes” (44 players) registered to play.
You might also have called this day “la Journée des Revenants”, the Day of the Ghosts. People who had vanished from the radar screen suddenly appeared to return from the Great Beyond.
I saw with great pleasure Colette Van Der Meulen who left the Bay Area a while ago and resurfaced yesterday (as perky as ever) to play in our tournament.
Also reappearing after a long absence, Raymond Nielsen, and his daughter Erika.
Luc Pouget also reappeared and reenlisted in LPM.
The field was still wet and soggy and it took a while for players to adapt to this condition. It was essentially (especially in the morning), a game of “plombés » and the best « plombers » were, in my opinion, Raymond Nielsen and Peter Mathis.
Especially Raymond who played with a disconcerting facility.
Before I go into the tournament itself, I want to recognize Sandra and Mark Shirkey and Akira Okawa who were instrumental in revitalizing our field. Yesterday, Mark shanghaied some sturdy fellows to move our scoreboard. It worked very well and the contraption was moved in no time.
The whole operation reminded me of the raising the flag at Iwo Jima.
Back to the tournament.
On the personal side, my teammate (Jean-Claude Bunand) and I lost our first game 6/13. We won our 2nd game 13/1 and also our 3rd game 13/6, which unfortunately qualified us for the Concours. I said unfortunately because we might have had a chance in the Consolante, while practically none playing with the Big Boys.
In the afternoon Peter Wellington and Joe La Torre quickly dispatched us, allowing me to devote the rest of day to memorialize this event with my sneaky little camera.
In the Concours semi-finals, Patrick and Brendan faced Raymond Nielsen and his daughter Erika. Both (particularly Raymond) played very well but were defeated 13/4. I felt sorry for Erika who might have been under tremendous pressure to please her demanding father.
Also in the semi-finals, Kevin and Peter defeated Ed Porto and Woolfie 13/4.
In the finals, Peter Mathis and Kevin Evoy faced Patrick Vaslet and the Great Brendini. All excellent players.
Midgame though, the situation did not look good for Patrick and Brendan. Peter and Kevin were leading 10/3 and cruising to victory.
Peter who has a flair for the dramatic, was so relaxed that he even jumped the fence separating us from the dog park to fly to the rescue of a dog being attacked by another dog. Atta boy!
But as I always said, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, and I never saw any fat lady loitering in the vicinity.
At one critical time, the score was 12/8 in favor of Peter and Kevin. They needed a single point to win the tournament.
But Patrick and Brendan kept their composure. Especially unflappable Patrick who remained as cool as a cucumber and saved the situation when it really mattered.
Toward the end of the tournament, in a stunning reversal of fortune, Patrick and Brendan scored 5 points to clinch the tournament. They won 13/12!
1st place: Patrick Vaslet and Brendan Cohen, $79.00 each
2nd place: Peter Mathis and Kevin Evoy, $66.00 each
3rd place: Woolfie Kurz and Ed Porto, $53.00 each
1st place: Delio Cuneo and J-Michel Poulnot, $40.00 each
2nd place: Charlie Davantes and Liv Kraft, $26:00 each
I have a lot of photos to show you (maybe too many) but I managed to whittle down the original number of pictures from 941 to under 250. Enjoy!